Two more Ministers back Keith Brown for Depute Leader

Roseanna Cunningham and Margaret Burgess have become the latest Scottish Government Ministers to back Keith Brown's bid for Depute Leader, following on from Alex Neil, Humza Yousaf and Michael Matheson. The backing of the latest two Ministers means that three quarters of all the women SNP MSPs who are able to express a preference back Brown.

Roseanna Cunningham said:
"Keith is an excellent Minister and a good colleague. He is absolutely dependable and his achievements in Government show that he can succeed in difficult circumstances. With the incredible expansion in SNP membership we need a Depute Leader with exceptional organisational skills and the one man who fits that bill perfectly is Keith.

"I've been impressed with the thinking that's gone into Keith's plans for the party; I like the way he's talking about engaging all of the members, new and old, and working out how to develop policy in a party that counts more than 1.5% of the population as members now. We've got to think differently, we've got to be bold and adventurous to find ways to drive forward Scotland's interests, we've got to channel the imagination and drive of all 80,000 members of the SNP to do that.

"Keith Brown is the person we need as Depute Leader and he has my support."

Margaret Burgess said:
"I took over the Housing brief from Keith and it was the foundation that he laid that meant I was able to complete the most ambitious council house building programme in a generation. Attention to detail and belief in what we're doing is essential to make a real difference to the lives of Scots and improve the country and that's exactly what we get with Keith.

"Tapping into the energy and enthusiasm that made the referendum campaign so exciting and invigorating will be the challenge that faces our new Depute Leader. It will need someone who is available to the party and who is near at hand to consult with Nicola Sturgeon. I think our Depute will have to be in the Scottish Parliament to do the job properly.

"I've got absolute faith in Keith Brown to do the job and get it done properly; he's exactly what we need. I'll be voting for Keith and I encourage all the other party members to do the same."

Keith Brown said:
"It's humbling to have the support of colleagues who I respect and who have also proven themselves in Government. I started out on this campaign with the encouragement of MSP colleagues and I'm delighted that the support has kept coming. I'm particularly pleased that the women in the SNP group are showing confidence in me.

"We've got a job to do in Government and a job to do in keeping the spirit of the referendum alive. We've got to lay out a routemap for Scotland and plan for a future where the powers of the Scottish Parliament are not yet clear. When the Smith Commission reports we have to be ready to respond and adapt our policies and operations to the new landscape we'll be faced with.

"The SNP has a serious job to do and I'm confident that we'll be up to the job if we get the foundations right. This is a serious task and I'm ready for it."